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Like many aquatics centers,the Marilyn and Marvin Simon Family Jewish Community Center found itself at a crossroads recently.

Attendance had dropped, cleanliness had decreased, safety was compromised, and employee satisfaction was at an all-time low.

Internal changes, a new-employee orientation program and a renewed commitment to service, cleanliness and safety turned the facility around in less than six months.

Operators also decided to counteract revenue problems by expanding special programs: They instituted Luau at the Pool and Kids Night Out.

The center offers swim lessons, as well as a series of high-demand classes built around participants’ schedules. Recently added classes include Aqua  Games for kids, and sessions catering to elderly patrons and fitness swimmers. Private swim lessons are so popular that there are only one or two free openings each month. 

The facility also makes several religious accommodations for its main clientele. Visitors will find a kosher café and programs such as separate men’s and women’s swims. The staff, assisted by a rabbi, follows Jewish holiday and Sabbath tradition practices. The theme of Jewish life is continued in the aquatic designs: Star of David spray zone mats and laminar features, and a Noah’s Ark outdoor water spraypark. 

Additionally, the center has implemented small changes to make the aquatics facility greener, including LED pool lighting, bright wall colors to allow more natural light reflection, purchasing recycled materials, restricting office paper use and running the dryer with two loads of towels instead of one. On alternate days, staffers use minimum office lighting and air conditioning, and turn off water effects and pool lights when no visitors are present.

Best Practices

Safety is vital to the center. Instead of cutting lifeguards or eliminating breaks due to budget concerns, the facility has incorporated in-services into its daily operating schedule.

Weighted dummy drills show patrons how effective lifeguards are at responding to emergencies.


JUDGES’COMMENTS

“Having both indoor and outdoor amenities has allowed this facility to maximize its guest experience and fill a well-rounded calendar of fun, fitness, health and safety.”

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Indoor pool with lap lanes, rapid river and spraypark
  • Outdoor pool with lap lanes, zero-depth entry, winding river, Noah’s Ark-themed spraypark, water slide
  • Heated 3-foot-depth indoor therapy pool
  • Kosher café and programs such as separate men’s and women’s swims